This post details how to complete the perfect last day of school activity for your students. Even if you’re teaching online, this makes a great activity for your distance learners as well! End of the year goodbye stars include writing meaningful goodbye messages on individual stars for each student.
Create Goodbye Stars on the Last Day of School
The end of the year is a hectic and exhausting time for teachers. Students are finishing up projects and taking exams, while teachers are trying to cram every last thing into the limited time left. It is also time for those end of the year activities that bring everyone together for some fun.
End of the year goodbye stars is a great community-building activity that helps students further their social-emotional development. Saying goodbye is hard for some, and this helps them say it to their peers before summer vacation. It helps them reflect on past experiences and from the year together as a class.
For distance learners, the end of the school year may seem bittersweet. The students get to celebrate the end of the school year, but they don’t necessarily get to say goodbye to their friends in a meaningful way. This activity can be done independently at home with a few additional modifications and can serve as a wonderful memento of the school year for them.
Students get to share and write those memories and goodbye messages to their peers on stars. They build and strengthen relationships and good feelings this way. Completing the activity enhances writing and spelling skills. Most of all, end of the year goodbye stars make a wonderful keepsake.
How to Complete this Last Day of School Activity
- For the star-shaped cut-outs, I recommend using a 2-ply weight paper or cardstock or scrapbook paper that is thicker than regular paper and not construction paper. Yellow makes the perfect color for stars and is light enough to show all colors of ink. You could also get creative and use different scrapbook papers with fun prints.
- Start by creating a tracer of a large star. The stars I use are approximately 12″ in diameter. Use the tracer to trace a class set of stars with a pencil. Cut out each star and write the names of each student in the center of each star. Don’t forget to create one for yourself and any other teachers in the classroom.
- Start by brainstorming exercises to generate ideas. Create a “Goodbye Stars” anchor chart to record your words. Encourage students to think of positive messages about the different personalities in the classroom (i.e., You are nice!). Come up with messages to wish someone well (i.e., Have a fun summer!). Think of memories you have shared (i.e., Thanks for the help this year!). Once you have generated a chart full of messages, get ready for writing on each star.
- Completing this activity so that each student writes on each star requires a bit of organization. I recommend using small pieces of tape with arrows on each to put on each student’s desk. The arrow will point to where that student will pass their star next. Make sure all students and teachers have a spot to sit with an arrow that points to a spot. Make sure that each spot will receive each star in turn. Have your students sit in their spots and look to where they will pass the stars next. Get them to give their stars to the first person.
- Give the class a few minutes to record a message to that person. Request that students are neat and write with their best spelling and handwriting. Bring out your favorite markers, like these Crayola Skinny Markers for a variety of colors. Once every student is ready and has written a thoughtful message on the star, you call “pass,” and they pass the star in the same direction to the next spot. Once each star comes back to its owner, the activity is complete.
It is up to you as to what you do with the stars after or if you let your students take them home right away. I prefer to collect them and add them to the goodbye bags I create for students. In the goodbye bags, I include a letter from me, a summer activity, a goodbye star, a photo keepsake, and a special treat of some kind.
What is your favorite last day of school activity for students?
Digital Goodbye Stars Activity for Distance Learners
The goodbye star activity helps kids to reflect and say goodbye to friends together as a class. It’s been a popular activity in classrooms for years as a way to end the year on a positive note. Kids get to share and write memories and goodbye messages to their classmates on stars. They strengthen relationships and good feelings this way. Most of all, end-of-the-year goodbye stars make a wonderful keepsake.
I’ve provided a FREE digital resource you can use. That way, you can do it as a virtual writing activity in Google Classroom! Everyone will get a chance to sign (fill in a text box) on each classmate’s star.
If you’re not sure how to do this virtually, I’ve created a quick tutorial video to help.
More End of the Year Ideas
Are you looking to create an end of the year DVD for your students filled with photos and more? Check out One Sharp Bunch’s post for a step by step guide.